(Photo: UNICEF Next Generation members pose with Breds EduSport coaches and young people from the Fight for Peace supported Kickout Crime and Violence programme at the Treasure Beach Sports Park, Jamaica).

UNICEF Next Generation visits Fight for Peace in Jamaica

12/07/2016 – Fight for Peace’s Kickout Crime and Violence programme in Jamaica was delighted to receive a recent visit from UNICEF Next Generation members at Treasure Beach Sports Park.

UNICEF Next Generation (NextGen) is a group of young leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in their 20s and 30s who provide funding and support to UNICEF’s projects. Members study issues that affect children around the world and  support UNICEF initiatives through education, advocacy, skill sharing/remote volunteering and fundraising. NextGen members also serve as advocates for children and mobilise their networks to support relevant projects.

The group of young professionals from NextGen’s US and UK networks represent a diverse group of industries, including fashion, technology, real estate, film and television. The visit to the Treasure Beach Sports Park was part of an annual planning session whereby NextGen members joined young people in participating in leadership and team building challenges. Participants in Kickout Crime and Violence, supported by Fight for Peace, visit the park once a month as part of their ongoing programme in Sport, Education, Employability, Youth Leadership and Support Services.

“Utilising sports for development isn’t something people always understand right away but participating in the activities first hand helped the team to understand the concept and make the link to UNICEF’s approach, which helps promote equality, along with valuable life skills such as respect, leadership and cooperation. Witnessing the different skills children seemed to be developing through the programme and seeing how passionate and dedicated the kids were helped us understand the importance of incorporating sports and play into children’s development”, says Casey Rotter, Founder and Director of UNICEF Next Generation.

The NextGen team tackled the challenge course themselves and joined the young people in a football match and EduSports drills that combine physical challenges with skill building in literacy, numeracy and personal development.

“For the most part we work with donors who will oftentimes never meet the children they’re helping, this was a rare chance to make a direct connection”, added Rotter.

UNICEF Next Generation started in the United States in 2009, as a way to engage the next generation of supporters to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. UNICEF works closely with the NextGen team, briefing them on its relationships with community organisations and governments and providing them with concept notes and toolkits that allow them to engage their communities and personal networks in UNICEF’s mission.

Fight for Peace will continue to explore collaboration with UNICEF Next Generation, facilitating visits to the Academies in London and Rio de Janeiro. For more information on UNICEF Next Generation, visit www.unicefusa.org/nextgeneration.